Agency and Youth: Insights from the Brics
The overdue publication of the ‘Handbook on the Sociology of Youth in BRICS countries’ (2017) permits sociologists to incorporate new insights into the sociology of youth. It helps modify the supposed “Universality” of some Western concepts, e.g. Erikson’s moratorium, school-to-work transition. Another contribution of the book is to show that other Western concepts seem to work well e.g. theory of generations, age-class system. Also, new phenomena appear, sometimes with a great force. Some may have already been detected in the West (e.g. Aids/HIV, NEETs…), whereas others are may not have Western equivalents (e.g. Hukou system, corruption, cybercrime, censorship, forced marriages, caste system, one-child policy…).
Against this background, this paper will examine how agency is seen and understood in youth studies in the BRICS countries, temporal and spatial dimensions will be provided as appropriate. Sociology's treatment of agency after the emergence of ICTs will provide a central focus of analysis. Social actors are to be found in all of the BRICS.